During this unprecedented time, we are strongly encouraged to shelter in place to stop the spread of this deadly virus – so let’s do exactly that. Let’s stay inside and focus on your internal brand. In this age of “digital transformation and digital brands” we can forget that brands are conversations and business is personal. The future of brands is both digital and human.
The inside-out approach to branding ensures that your employees are able and willing to communicate, demonstrate and live the company values and value proposition. So take this time to engage all employees in what makes your company great and your brand compelling to customers…and to each other.
What is an Internal Brand?
- Expression of who you are, what you do, how you create value, and how you are different.
- Interactive and human evidence of doing what you said you would do – where brand promise equals brand delivery.
- Appreciation that everyone in your organization is a brand advocate – if given the opportunity, education, direction and expectation.
- Trust, connection, confidence, warmth and caring between your organization and your customers. Employees are the human embodiment of your brand for customers – in times when human connections are at a premium.
Why is Internal Brand Important?
- Value extends beyond your product offering to the experience that each and every employees creates – at each and every touchpoint. Great service leads to great selling / growth opportunities.
- Employees that are more aligned and engaged with the company brand achieve 10% higher customer scores and a 20% increase in sales than those on the lower end.
- Employees will a strong sense of company brand stay longer with your company and become more productive with time.
- Companies with a strong sense of their internal brand know exactly how to act in good times and challenging times.
I was on the phone yesterday with a leader from a large national business banking organization. I asked how business has changed over the past 2 weeks. He said the old rules of lending (investing in assets) are out the window and the new rules are emerging as we speak (covering clients’ payroll). As the rules change, the leader knows exactly how to act in the best interest of his company while helping his clients in this great time of need.
What are a Few Actions You Can Take Now to Improve Your Internal Branding?
Send an email to employees across the organization and ask them to respond to the following questions. (You will most likely find that responses are pretty diverse which is driving confusion into the market.)Who are we as an organization?
- What do we do?
- What makes us special and unique?
- What are the company values?
- Why did you choose to work here? What keeps you here?
- Why do customers choose us over competing offers?
Work to consolidate and synthesize this information into a powerful and authentic 3/30 second speech. Send to each team member for the eventual, “what does your company do,” conversations.
Consider a monthly recognition program to reward employee behaviors that demonstrate the brand values with customers, in the community and with each other.
Sometimes we need to go inside to emerge as something new, different, and great. While cocoons do protect us from the outside world during our most vulnerable times, we also know we can’t live there forever.
Take this from a guy who didn’t leave his mom’s home until he was 30!!!